The Alignment Triangle

December 10, 2014

Following on from the last post about the need for the large Tube map and the single line plan, here’s my ‘Alignment Triangle’ diagram which illustrates an effective process for keeping today’s activity aligned with the’Big Picture’ aims of the organisation. Every company knows they should be doing this, but I’ve come across very few that are systematically implementing this on a continual basis. That’s why a simple model to follow can really help.

Alignment Triangle

The Big Picture – start with defining the Mission, Purpose, Vision and Values (this is no twenty minute exercise – take time to do this well).

Create a Master Goals List – this is the place to record every significant goal that will help move your organisation towards the defined and agreed Big Picture.

Monthly Goals & Priorities – a refined and repeatable format to clarify the goals and priorities for Dec 2014 or Jan 2015 is essential. The Master Goals List will have far too much on it to be able to focus effectively. We suggest a 2 – 3 hour monthly planning process to set each month up so everyone knows exactly what they are shooting for in that 30 day period.

Daily Organising – it’s only when the above steps are done really well that organising your daily activity can be super-effective. Again, a repeatable format for planning your day in line with the monthly goals is essential for optimising performance.


Edinburgh & back before tea time!

October 10, 2013

I’m writing this in an Edinburgh cafe having left home in Coventry this morning. I shall be home by tea time!

In an hour’s time I’ll be meeting with an LMI course graduate, their line manager and a representative from the company’s L&D department to review the results from the programme and hear the course-end presentation.

It’s an important trip and well worth my time today as part of a great ongoing relationship with an important national client.

It has, however, got me thinking.

Just because I can get to almost anywhere before breakfast, doesn’t mean that I should!

For everything we do, there is not just the cost of doing it, but also the opportunity cost of NOT DOING something else.

So whilst this trip is absolutely worthwhile, there are some others that I used to make that aren’t. It’s probably the same for you. For example, for the ‘cost’ of a trip to a site one hour away, I could do the same work with two companies on my doorstep.

It may be that the meeting is important, but you could save a lot of time by doing it over the web. I’m a huge fan of Vsee (bit like Skype but more functionality & better quality) for business meetings. There are dozens of other ways to maximise your time.

It’s worth remembering that ‘just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!’

Have a great day!


What’s your Olympic Gold?

October 8, 2013
nick and chris

Meeting an absolute legend!

The weekend before last I attended the National Entrepreneurs Convention at the ICC in Birmingham and had one of those genuinely awe-inspiring “don’t-come-round-very-often” experiences.

Sir Chris Hoy, the most decorated British Olympian in history, was the guest speaker and I was transfixed! This guy has made me shout, jump, sweat, scream and even well up a little (I’m not too proud to confess!) on more than one occasion as I’ve watched the Olympics and cheered him on to victory as if it was actually me winning that gold!

Sir Chris shared the story of when he was 15 and his coach asked the club he was part of to go away and think about what the big goal was for each of them. Chris wasn’t even the best in that group of fellow young cyclists at the time, but he was the only one who came back and said he wanted to win Olympic Gold. The rest, as they say….

It challenged me, and I thought I’d share that same challenge with you, to identify the single most important goal in my life – the equivalent of my Olympic Gold. A goal that is so motivating, so important and stirs my passion like nothing else. A goal that generates for me absolute clarity about what I should be doing and what I shouldn’t be doing, enabling me to answer with sincere honesty the question, “Is my current behaviour congruent with my goal?”

A little time, a little thought, a little ink on some paper used answering this question has really helped me a lot. I hope it does you too.


Success is for everyone!

August 21, 2012

In line with today’s launch of the new Goal Setting Pack, I’ve been running through in my mind all the people I know who I think should buy one (and that’s just about everyone, by the way)!!

I’m also very much aware that whilst for some the idea of goal setting is already an absolute ‘must-do’, for others the very thought of such manufactured, dare-I-say ‘American-ised’ motivational nonsense is just not up their street at all.

So let me say a few words about why goal setting is for everyone.

A number of years ago a friend of mine was getting married in Hamburg, Germany. 5 of us piled into my old Peugeot 205 diesel and set out from London to Folkstone to catch a ferry headed for Ostend in Belgium. From there we drove through Belgium, Holland and Germany to reach our destination about 27 hours later, very tired, squashed but pretty pleased with ourselves for making it on time!

We were going somewhere we’d not been before and so the map (this was pre-SatNav days) was the most important thing we had with us, and we studied it continually throughout the journey to keep us on track.

Its easy to let life carry on, month by month, year by year, staying on the same roads, not growing, or at least not growing anywhere near as much as you potentially could, and therefore not living the adventure or making the most of the opportunities that are there for the taking.

I’m not even thinking at this point about setting huge goals like becoming a millionaire or climbing Everest (though this works just fine with that stuff). Right now I’m much more interested in the really down-to-earth stuff and helping to make life as we live it every day a little bit more like we’d like it to be. If you and I can keep making those small steps, consistently week by week, the cumulative effect is going to be MASSIVE!

Clearly identified, written-down goals are the road map to take us steadily towards the destination that we’d like to get to.

I’m privileged in my work to watch people setting and achieving these kind of ‘small’ goals almost on a daily basis. I get extremely excited when I see a business owner setting a goal to leave the office earlier to eat dinner with his family, or a mum who works and juggles all those demands, yet still sets a goal to invite an elderly neighbour round for dinner once a week.

See what I mean?

In LMI we define success as ‘the progressive realisation of worthwhile, predetermined, personal goals’ or to put it more simply, Goal Directed Action.

On this basis, I strongly assert, goal setting is for everyone! Success is for everyone! Maybe you’ll agree.


Togetherness

June 19, 2012

I’m sure there are many of you who, like me, are spending far more time than usual in front of the TV in the evenings watching the Euro 2012 drama unfold…and just as many of you who can’t wait till its all over and life (& TV schedules) gets back to normal!

The thing that always fascinates about team sports is the emphasis on success through togetherness, the importance of shared drive and determination, and the delicate balance between high levels of motivation whilst not being over-stressed and therefore underperforming. 

Teams that really pull together and prize shared success over individual brilliance always outshine and outperform those that don’t. In any team endeavour, be it sport, business, or just life, investing in the team dynamic, the ownership of shared goals and the ‘all for one, one for all’ spirit pays dividends a hundred fold. Just ask any Dutch supporter if they’d trade some of their superstars for a bit more of that!